Encroaching sea threatens Monkey River! Beach depletion could doom village.
Sea and the surf are making mincemeat of the beach at Monkey River.
In south Stann Creek the picturesque village of Monkey River, is slowly disappearing into the sea.
It’s not global warming, because the land is more than two feet above high tide. But the sea and the surf are gnawing at the land and are consuming the old village street by street.
Monkey River, once a bustling little town on the way to Seine Bight and Punta Gorda, has long lost the distinction of Belize Belize’s eighth town and has subsided into being a village once more, but residents are not willing to give up on the old town. They are looking for remedies, and they think they have one.
They believe that water diversion further upstream for shrimp farming and other enterprises have weakened the flow of Monkey River so that it cannot renew the beach with sand from the interior. They want to do some river dredging to renew the flow of the river.
A study performed by Galen University tells them that this is the way to go.
Erosion Committee Chairman Chris Harris told Reporter: “We have a good idea of the root causes of the problem, thanks to a study carried out by Galen University in 2007.
“Our only choice now is to go straight to the top, and we are at this moment seeking an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister.”
Monkey River’s Front Street has already been eroded and now seven privately owned homes are in the battle zone.
Unless the erosion is halted and ecological balance restores, these homes will be overtaken by the angry surf.
“The situation is now extremely urgent” adds Village Chairman Mario Muschamp. We need to begin dredging right away if families are not to lose their homes and property within weeks. If these houses go, our school is next in line. And our burial ground is already under immediate threat.”
Monkey River Village is the oldest Creole community in Belize and important both historically and as the guardian of the Port Honduras Marine Reserve and Paynes Creek National Park.http://www.reporter.bz/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=3424&Itemid=2